More Fun Outdoor Activities In Your Yard or at a Park

Escape into nature – there’s so much to do outside! See our Top 10 Outdoor Fun Ideas or read below for more nature discovery activities…


What tree is that?

Trees come in various shapes and sizes. Looking closely at the shape of leaves and the texture of bark help us identify the various species of trees. How do the leaves grow on the branches? If the leaves grow directly opposite each other on each side of the branch, known as opposite branching, the tree is most likely a maple, dogwood, ash, or chestnut tree. Get more Tree ID tips or download one of these free apps: PlantSnap (iPhone and Android) or Plant Identifier (iPhone).
PlantSnap app phone

Whose tracks are those?

animal tracks guide life science
Tracking wildlife is a fun activity to help you discover which animals are near you. Is there a deer nearby? Where do the foxes and squirrels go to eat or drink? Explore muddy ground and stream and creek banks for finding tracks. What can you find – a paw print, hoof print, or fork-like? How big is each track? Search around trees and bushes as you may find little pieces of fur or feathers on the ground or on branches that may help you identify the tracks. You may even see bite marks on trees and bushes where animals feed. Print an animal tracks sheet or download an app like the NWF Guide to Mammals to help you solve your discovery!

What bird is calling?

Bird watching is a fun and easy activity you can do anywhere. Most important thing to remember: be quiet and patient and the birds will come! What color are they? Are they fluttering around? Eating? Are they interacting with other birds? What are their songs like? They may be trying to attract a mate. Use the fun and easy-to-use CornellLab Merlin bird app on your phone (iPhone or Android) to identify the birds you discovered.
CornellLab Merlin Bird phone app